Spina Bifida Center | Prenatal Care for Spina Bifida

If you are an expecting mother who has received a prenatal diagnosis of spina bifida, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the decisions you have to make. Our goal is to provide clarity during this time of chaos by providing the most complete information about diagnosis and treatment.

Thousands of pregnant women have been referred to Boston Children’s Hospital for testing, counseling, treatment and care when spina bifida is suspected or diagnosed. Our dedicated fetal care center is one of just a handful of comprehensive fetal centers in the U.S.

Advanced technology

Although you may have had a routine ultrasound at your obstetrician's office, our pediatric radiologists and imaging experts use advanced ultrasound and/or MRI to produce detailed images of your unborn child. The results of this test can confirm or rule out a spina bifida diagnosis and provide the greatest level of detail possible during a pregnancy.

In-depth counseling

Members of our spina bifida team will meet with you and your family to help you understand the full scope of your child’s condition, set appropriate expectations, and make important decisions about his or her care.

Detailed care plan

With the test results in hand, our collaborative spina bifida team will meet with you to design a treatment plan that is customized to the needs of your child. This will likely include surgery within 24-28 hours of birth to repair the spine and may include additional surgeries to de-tether a spinal cord that has attached to the spinal column or to repair bladder functions. 

Delivery coordination and rapid transfer

We partner with best-in-class obstetricians and perinatologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to coordinate delivery, post-natal care and follow up care. On the day of your delivery, your newborn baby will be transferred to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where he or she will receive treatment from world-class surgeons. A mother and family can access the NICU easily and visit her baby whenever she wants.

Read more about our Advanced Fetal Care Center.